Campus Blog

5 Ideas for Lent

Neil Downey February 10, 2016

Today is the beginning of Lent, a 40-day liturgical period of prayer and fasting beginning with Ash Wednesday and culminating in Easter. So if you see people walking around with a black smudge on their forehead, it's there on purpose. (For more on the significance of Ash Wednesday, check this out.)

As someone who did not grow up in a tradition-laden church, I used to have a bad attitude about Lent. It seemed like people were relying on self-sacrifice to score brownie points with God. Did God really care if my neighbor gave up pizza for 40 days?

And, while many people likely participate in Lent without a proper understanding of the gospel (grace, righteousness, etc.), I've come to appreciate the significance of Lent. Just like Advent is intended to prepare us for the celebration of our Savior's birth, Lent is about intentionally focusing on Jesus, particularly on his death, burial, and resurrection.

When viewed through the lens of the gospel, Lent can be a wonderful time of reflection, repentance, and intimacy with the Lord.

A few ideas:

  1. Attend an Ash Wednesday Service. As a volunteer youth leader at my local church, participating in the Youth Group's annual Ash Wednesday service is one of the highlights of the year. It's a chance to remind the students of who Jesus is, what he's done, and why it matters.
  2. Commit to a Daily Time in the Gospels. Use the next 40 days to read through the life of Jesus.
  3. Read a Devotional. Here's a Lenten Devotional from one of our own.
  4. Give Something Up. Don't scoff. When done for the right reasons, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, fasting from a particular food or habit can be incredibly beneficial. Whether it's dessert, coffee, or Words With Friends, abstain from something you really like. It just might help you appreciate Jesus' sacrifice on your behalf. Need more ideas? Here are some great ones.
  5. Focus on Evangelism. People tend to be more spiritually open during Lent. Use the next 40 days to have 40 spiritual conversations. Use Soularium as a conversation starter.


Do you have any other ideas for making Lent more spiritually significant? Share them below.

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